That is a sentence which – in various phrasings and rewordings – I have repeated at least twice a year for the past three years in my Graphics Matter series of posts. But, really, for the non-mathematicians amongst us (including myself), what does that actually mean?
Well, by way of the inimitable genius behind Dilbert, we have this example:
And today, by way of Bloomberg Businessweek, we have this representation:
Proving causality is, to put it very simply, a pain in the ass, and does not simply consist of "X happened, then Y happened, which means X caused Y". This is exactly why I do not claim any causality in my Graphics Matter series, and exactly why disproving the hypotheses of "guns cause deaths" and "guns cause crime" is so easy.
Remember that the lie may not be in explicitly what they say, but rather their underlying reasons for saying so – on the surface, the hypothesis that Dilbert was sending the link seemed valid, but the boss’ reasoning was fundamentally flawed. In his case, it was not a lie simply because he did not know any better, but in the case of those who would forcibly deprive us of our Constitutionally-protected individual rights, the same cannot be said.